My dog went after a chick this morning.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gg706, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an 11 month old Weimaraner. A Weimaraner is a hunting dog, so I did expect she would be VERY interested in the chickens. I have been working with her since day 1 the chicks are now 5 weeks old. I was caring for the chicks and one got excited and flew out of the door into the run. My dog was standing RIGHT behind me....she for the first time went right after the chick!!! I grabbed her and disciplined her and told her " NO" , "out" and "leave it". She knows what these words mean..... I don't think my training is enough to get her leave the chicks alone. I wanted to free range my chickens a little...that is out of the question! I am probably going to put up an electric fence to keep the dog away from the chickens, of poultry netting and regular electric wire. It really annoys me that I feel like anytime I turn my back she would get them, if given the chance. I am considering getting a shock collar for her. Does anyone have any experience using a shock collar to deter the "hunting chickens" behavior. Have you used electric poultry netting? Would poultry netting deter a dog and other predators?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  2. jobeth3

    jobeth3 Out Of The Brooder

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    i have a 7 month old golden lab mix...i have tried working with him to leave the chickens alone. i really havent had any success! when i let the chickens free range, i put him in his kennel. but, im hoping as he gets older and out of his puppy years he will settle down.
     
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Poultry netting only keeps poultry in. Like chicken wire, it's only designed to contain chickens. Neither will keep a determined dog, fox, raccoon, or opossum out.

    The problem with training dogs not to bother poultry is that you have to teach them the chickens are to be ignored and that they aren't playthings. If you're tending (playing with) them, then the dog is all like COOL! PLAY! and of course chickens are really delicate playthings. I have a really nice Australian Cattle Dog and I've been able to finally teach her to ignore the big ones, but the chicks are a real problem. The dog cannot be allowed even to look at them wagging it's tail. I'm considering a shock collar myself for mine but do hesitate as that's a bit harsh.

    What trainers do is always have the dog on a leash while with the chickens and reprimand them even for looking longingly at the birds. I'm not talking beat to death, just "leave it" and such. But like I said, chicks are a real problem since you do have to tend them and that looks like "play" to the dog.

    Hopefully someone else can chime in with better advice.
     
  4. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I did think about putting her up so I could turn out the chickens. I am worried the kids would let her out of the house not thinking anything of it and I would find her with a bunch of dead chickens! I don't have a kennel to put her in. Darn! you have not had any luck! [​IMG] I was hoping she would come to see the chickens as "mine" and would learn to get along with them. I am a very strong pack leader for her and she does respect me but I think her hunting instinct is too strong to ingnore. Even though she is a weim. I was not looking for a hunting dog as we do not hunt...the breeder I got her from does not breed for hunting performance...she breeds for a family dog. Amazing how engrained the hunting behavior can be even when being bred away from it!
     
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I don't think it's "hunting," it's "playing." My dog doesn't have any hunting in it's background, they're bred for being around livestock and helping care for them. But she very much wants to play with the babies. She LOVES them. She wouldn't dream of hurting them on purpose. But just one little bit of "play" and they'd be dead. It's just natural for any dog to snap at one that flies by, or chase something that's excited and running. Very hard to get them to ignore that stuff. And mine is 5 years old.

    It'll get easier as they get older. Like I said, I know I can trust mine around the ones that are grown, and even a couple that are 10 weeks old, mainly because the 10 week olds aren't afraid of the dog. It really helps to have chickens that are calm around it. It's the excitable behavior that gets the dog going.

    What I'm having trouble with right now are two 1 week olds that I have with a broody momma. That dog will NOT ignore those babies. Any time she even thinks I might be walking somewhere close to the broody's enclosure, there she runs with tail wagging. :barnie
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  6. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I would need to run fencing and then put regular electric fence around the outside for the dog, coons, foxes, etc. Thank You for the insight....had not really thought of it that way. I do spend alot of time playing with the chicks. I have wanted them for 5 yrs. I finally got my husband to give in...so I am soaking up having chicks around!
     
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Don't let her see you playing with them. Might be really hard to do, but try. It will help.
     
  8. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do see her get excited when the chicks are running and flying at each other. I worry because I have seen her hunt a squirrel in the yard like a Cheetah on the Serengeti! She sneaks very , very , quietly and freezes when the squirrel looks.....then sneaks more...then when she thinks she is close enough she begins her pursuit. She has never caught one, but my chickens wont stand a chance! I am hoping as they get bigger they won't look as fun!? I have an old cat that she used to pick on...but after getting in trouble for it a few times she now sleeps with him.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  9. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good idea! If I am gonna play with them I can put her in the garage so she doesn't see it.
     
  10. Davian

    Davian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No advice to give you...both my Scotties protect our chickens and one of our Wyandottes is convinced she's a Scottie as she always follows around our older dog and tries to follow him into the house.

    They'll kill any rabbits/squirrels they see (if they could catch them) but they completely leave the birds alone.
     

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